Western New York

Fort Adams | Algonkin Indian Fort | Fort Alleghan | Arnot Barracks | Auburn Barracks
Camp Auburn | Fort Bender | Black Rock Blockhouse | Fort Black Rock | Buffalo Barracks
Fort Canadasaga | Cayuga Indian Fort (1) | Cayuga Indian Fort (2) | Cheektowaga Barracks
Camp Chemung | Camp Church | Fort Conti | Cornell Ground School | Fort Cummings (1)
Fort DeNonville | Fort of the Eries | Flint Hill Camp | Fox Point Battery
Frenchman's Landing Blockhouses | Ganechstage | Ganondagan | Genesee Castle | Fort Gray
Great Gully Fort | Camp Guenther | Fort Hennepin | Fort Humphrey | Irondequoit Fort
Fort Joncaire | Joncaire's House | Fort Kanadesaga | Kanestio Castle | Kienuka | Fort LaSalle
Fort Little Niagara | Magazin Royal | McIntyre's Fort | Moravia Arsenal | Neutral Indian Fort
Newtown | Fort Niagara | Fort Oghwaga | Oneida Castle (3) | Onontare | Fort Oquaga
Camp Otis | Otsiningo Castle | Camp Plume | Poinsett Barracks | Fort du Portage
Camp Porter | Fort Porter | Post Barracks | Camp Rathburn | Fort Reed | Fort Reid
Robinson Barracks | Camp Robinson | Fort des Sables | Salt Battery | Fort Schlosser
Fort Schuyler (2) | Seneca Castle | Speed's Blockhouse | Fort Suppose | Fort Tompkins (3)
Tonawanda Blockhouse | Tory Quarters | Unadilla Castle | Fort Wasco
Williamsville Barracks

Niagara Fall's Cold War AAA Defenses

Northeastern NY - page 1 | Mohawk River Valley - page 2 | Hudson River Valley - page 3
Catskill Region - page 4 | New York City I - page 5 | New York City II - page 6
New York City III - page 7 | Long Island - page 8 | Northwestern New York - page 10


Last Update: 26/DECEMBER/2013
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2013 American Forts Network

Alexander McIntyre's Fort
(1790's or 1800's), Mayville
A settlers' palisaded log cabin.

Fort Humphrey
(1813 - 1814), Holland
A settlers' one-acre triangular stockade around the Arthur Humphrey farmstead. State marker located on NY 16 north of town. Site located along the railroad on the old abandoned Humphrey Road.

Fort of the Eries
(16th century), Buffalo
An Erie Indian palisaded circular earthwork located on the south side of Buffalo Creek. The Seneca Indians defeated the Eries here in 1653, according to French accounts.

Fort Suppose
(unknown dates), Buffalo
A French fort that was probably never built.

Buffalo Defenses

Fort Tompkins (3)
(1812 - 1814), Buffalo FORT WIKI
A large seven-gun earthwork, also known as Fort Adams, marker located on Niagara Street. Other batteries located around the city include Terrace Battery earthwork, Gookin's Battery (one gun), and Old Sow Battery earthwork with one mortar, all south of Fort Tompkins. North of the fort were Gibson's Battery (three guns), Dudley's Battery, Swift's Battery, Sailor's Battery (three guns). Attacked by the British in December 1813. The fort was abandoned after the war. No remains of any of the works.

Black Rock Blockhouse
(1807 - 1813), Buffalo
A blockhouse located at the mouth of Black Rock Creek, which later protected the Navy Yard and depot built here in 1812. Possibly also known as Fort Black Rock. Located nearby in 1813 was Major Morgan's Battery. The Navy Yard was transferred to Erie, PA in 1813, but the naval depot remained until 1815. In December 1813 the British attacked and destroyed the blockhouse and carried off the guns from Fort Tompkins.

Flint Hill Camp
(1812), Buffalo
An encampment and hospital. The site is now Mount St. Joseph's Academy. A marker is on Main Street.

Fort Porter
(1841 - 1921, intermittent), Buffalo FORT WIKI
A two-story masonry redoubt, it was the largest "blockhouse" ever built in the United States. It defended the entrance to the Erie Canal. It was built near the site of Fort Tompkins (3). It was not regularly garrisoned between 1844 and 1861. Ten barracks were built in 1861. The blockhouse burned in 1863. This was a recruiting station in 1898 and was the headquarters post of the 13th U.S. Infantry Regiment. Part of the fort became a city park around 1892. The remainder of the post became a military general hospital until it was abandoned in 1921. The post was destroyed after 1926 to make room for the Peace Bridge.
See also Historic Photos by Chris Andrle || Historic Photo from Western New York Heritage Press

Buffalo Barracks (NPS site)
(1835 - 1846), Buffalo
Also known as Poinsett Barracks, it was built to house troops in the area due to tensions with Canada over the Patriot's War. Abandoned after Fort Porter was built, as it was no longer needed. Site bounded by Main, Allen, Delaware Ave., and North Streets. One former Officers' quarters (1838) still exists at 641 Delaware Ave., later modified as a private residence and now part of the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site (admission fee).
See also T.R. Inaugural Site Foundation || Ansley Wilcox Mansion from Buffalo Architecture and History
Ansley Wilcox House from Historic-Structures.com

Camp Joseph W. Plume
(1898), Buffalo
A Spanish-American War muster-out camp. Located at the former 65th Regiment Armory at 197 Broadway (still extant).

Camp F. L. Guenther
(1901), Buffalo
An Army post at the Pan-American Exposition Grounds. The present Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society Museum is the only remaining building of the 1901 Exposition, located at 25 Nottingham Court.

Cheektowaga Barracks
(1812 - 1813), Cheektowaga
A state militia log barracks, later used as a hospital. A marker is at Transit Road and Aero Drive.

Williamsville Barracks
(1812 - 1813), Williamsville
A state militia log barracks, used as winter quarters by Gen. Smyth. A marker is on Garrison Creek Road near NY 5.

Tonawanda Blockhouse
(1812 - 1813), Tonawanda
A small American militia blockhouse on the south shore of Tonawanda Creek. It was burned by the British in December 1813.

Frenchman's Landing Blockhouses
(1745 - 1750, 1764), Niagara Falls
A small French blockhouse and storehouse located a few hundred yards north of where Fort Little Niagara was later built, which replaced it.

The British also later built a blockhouse here in 1764. Marker on Portage Road between Ferry and Byrd Aves..

Fort Schlosser
(1760 - 1813/1857 ?), Niagara Falls FORT WIKI
First located near here was the French Fort Little Niagara, also known as Fort du Portage (1750 - 1759), built by Daniel Joncaire, son of Louis. It was a log stockade around barracks, storehouses, stables, and a blockhouse. It was destroyed to prevent capture by the British. The British built a new fort slightly upstream of the French fort, composed of a square earthwork with four bastions. The Americans took control by treaty in 1796 and used it mainly as a supply depot. The British burned the fort in December 1813. See also Ontario historic marker. Possibly still maintained as a state militia supply depot until 1857. A surviving two-story stone chimney, supposedly from the original French fort but more likely a British construction, was part of the Portage Master's house, located outside of the actual fort. It later became a tavern, but was destroyed along with the fort in 1813. The "Old Stone Chimney" is still extant in what was once Porter Park, having been relocated there in 1942. A NY state marker is on site near the intersection of Buffalo Avenue and the Robert Moses Parkway off-ramp. See also Old Stone Chimney by Paul Gromosiak

Fort Gray
(1812 - 1813), Lewiston
Located just north of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. It was to protect the northern end of the Niagara Falls portage. It was attacked and destroyed by the British in December 1813. No remains, no marker. Site was probably at Barton Hill, at North 3rd and Center Streets. The present Barton Hill Mansion was built in 1815.

Previously at this location was a French blockhouse (1751) and later a British blockhouse (1764) to protect the military road between Grand Island and Lake Ontario (Niagara Portage). A total of 11 blockhouses were built by the British along the entire route of the Niagara Portage after the Devil's Hole Massacre (September 1763) occurred near here at the hands of the Seneca Indians.

Fort Joncaire
(1719 - 1750), Lewiston
Originally a stockaded cabin and trading post built by French trader Louis Thomas de Joncaire, sieur de Chabert (aka Chabert de Joncaire). In 1721 a stone blockhouse called Magazin Royal, or Joncaire's Blockhouse, was built here. It was abandoned when Fort Little Niagara was built in 1750. A state marker is located in ArtPark.

This location may have been the site of a 1678 French palisaded camp, sometimes referred to as Fort Hennepin by later historians, that was then replaced by Fort Conti in 1679. A British blockhouse may have been located at this site in 1761.

(1500 - 1640), Lewiston
A palisaded "fortress of refuge" for Squawkihaw and Seneca Indians, located along the Niagara Escarpment.

Salt Battery
(1812), Youngstown
A temporary militia battery constructed with 400 barrels of salt, located at the town's docks.

Fox Point Battery
(1812), Youngstown
A militia battery, the fifth such battery south from Fort Niagara. Marker on Main Street.

Fort Niagara (State Historic Site)
(Fort Niagara State Park)
(1726 - 1903/1963), Youngstown FORT WIKI
Fort LaSalle, a temporary French fort, was first established here in 1669. Attacked and destroyed by the Senecas in 1675. Fort Conti was then built in 1679 but burned down sometime before 1682. It was composed of two 40-foot square log blockhouses enclosed by a palisade. Next came Fort DeNonville, or Fort at Niagara, in 1687, a four-bastioned palisade, but was abandoned in 1688 after supplies ran out. Fort Niagara was next - beginning with the "French Castle" or "House of Peace" in 1726. This structure was unique in that it resembled a French baronial mansion in order to hide its military purpose. Its granite walls were four feet thick, and massive arches were incorporated inside to support the rows of cannon secretly emplaced on the second floor attic. Extensive fortifications and moats were constructed in 1756. The fort was taken by the British in 1759, and was later a major base of operations during the American Revolution against the Patriots. Five additional redoubts and stockades were constructed along the Niagara portage road in 1760. The North and South Redoubts were built in 1766. The Americans took control by treaty in 1796. During the War of 1812, Fort Niagara and Fort George, Ontario duked it out in an unusual battle between two forts. It was captured by the British in December 1813. See also Ontario historic marker. In May 1815 it was ceded back to the U.S.

In 1839 modifications were made to the old fort, including a new stone wall and postern gate, and new masonry casemates in the north and south walls. In 1841 new construction was started outside the old fort, consisting of barracks, Officers' quarters, and later a Life Saving Station. More buildings were added in the area after 1903, when the fort became an infantry training post. In WWII it became a draftee reception center, and also a German POW camp. The old historic fort was turned over as a state historic site in 1946. The remainder of the post ("New Fort Niagara") became a NIKE missile regional defense headquarters 1955 - 1962. A 90mm AA gun battery was located on post 1951 - 1953. The military reservation became a state park after the Army left in 1963. Most of the 100-plus garrison buildings have since been demolished. The 1939 Naval Barracks complex still remains, although closed to the public. It may be repurposed into a 48-room inn in the future. The 1938 Officers' Club will be a museum of the modern post in the future. The Post Theater and the Commanding Officer's Quarters also still remain. In 1994 the original 19-by-30 foot American garrison flag (1813) was returned from Scotland. Admission fee to state park.

Cold War AAA Defenses of Niagara Falls
(1951 - 1957), Niagara Falls area
Several permanent sites were established for the Army's Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Gun Site Program, the precursor to the NIKE missile defense program. Four 90mm AA guns were positioned at each site, with troop barracks and other support buildings. Known sites include:
Grand Island (1953 - 1957): at Staley Road (NF-40).
Grand Island (1953 - 1955): undetermined (NF-30).
Niagara Falls (1953 - 1954): on 64th Street near Bishop Duffy High School (temporary).
Walmore (1953 - 1957): about 100 yards northeast of junction of Lockport and Walmore Roads, along Cayuga Creek (NF-10).
Lewiston (1953 - 1955): on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation.
Lewiston (1955 - 1957): east of River Road about four blocks north of Main Street (NF-92).
Fort Niagara (1951 - 1953): on post facing Lake Ontario.
(thanks to Paul Robitaille for providing additional info)

NIKE missile defense sites (1955 - 1970) are beyond the scope of this website.

Camp Church
(1862), Lockport
A Civil War training camp.

Neutral Indian Fort
(1300's - 1650), East Shelby
A Neutral Indian double-palisaded village, destroyed by the Iroquois in 1650. This is the only currently known double-palisaded Native American site in the state.

Algonkin Indian Fort
(pre-contact), Rochester
An early Algonkin Indian semi-circular earthwork enclosure once located on the west bank of the Genesee River, east of the north end of present-day River Street. A state marker is located just outside of Kodak Park.

Fort Bender
(1814), Rochester
A War of 1812 militia fort guarding the town from possible British invasion when the British fleet arrived at the mouth of the Genesee River. Located at Deep Hollow on the west bank of the Genesee River at the falls, near the junction of Lake Ave. and Ravine Ave..

Camp Fitz-John Porter
(1862), Rochester
A Civil War training camp located on the west bank of the Genesee River, stretching southwest along Cottage Street between Magnolia and Utica Streets. Other camp sites were located across the river at the former county fairgrounds next to the present-day Strong Memorial Hospital; and also at the present-day Rose Garden at Maplewood Park.

Camp Otis
(1898), Rochester
A Spanish-American War muster post.

Fort des Sables
(1717 - unknown), Sea Breeze
A stockaded French trading post. Also known as Louis Thomas de Joncaire's House. Site has been destroyed by highway construction (NY 590).

The French Irondequoit Fort (1687) was previously located near here as a base camp for attacking Genesee Castle (see below).

Fort Schuyler (2)
(1721 - 1722), Penfield
A British post built to counter the French at Fort des Sables. A 1938 reproduction of the log cabin "trading post" is located in Ellison Park at Indian Landing on Irondequoit Creek.

(1670's), Savannah
A Cayuga Indian fortified town was once located on Fort Hill one mile south of town. The French Jesuit Mission St. Rene was established here in 1670.

Ganondagan (State Historic Site)
(late 1600's), Victor
A 17th-century Seneca Indian palisaded village, or "castle". Also known as Genesee Castle. It was attacked by the French in 1687. Attacked by Patriot forces in 1779.

Fort Cummings (1)
(1779), Honeoye
A Patriot temporary base of operations against the Seneca Indians. It was a fortified supply post incorporating an old Seneca blockhouse that had been used by Tory Rangers. The site was excavated in the 1930's, and a marker is in town. The town was not settled by whites until 1789, originally named Pittstown until 1808.

Kanestio Castle
(1690 - 1764), Canisteo
A Seneca Indian fortified village on the Canisteo River that was burned by the NY colonial militia under Capt. Andrew Montour in 1764. French Jesuit missionaries had earlier established a mission here in 1690.

Fort Kanadesaga
(1756 - 1779), near Fort Hill, Phelps Township, Ontario County
A 150-foot square palisade with two blockhouses built for the Seneca Indians by the British. Also spelled Canadasaga. Also known as Seneca Castle. It was destroyed by Patriots in September 1779 during the Sullivan Expedition. Site excavated in 1975. Located between Geneva and Phelps.

(1687 - unknown), Geneva
A Seneca Indian village and French Jesuit mission. Marker located on White Spring Road at the western city limits.

Tory Quarters
(1778 - 1779), Geneva
A Tory Ranger base camp under Col. John Butler. Destroyed by Patriots (Sullivan Expedition) in September 1779. Located on the northern shore of Seneca Lake.

Fort Alleghan
(pre-contact, 1760's ?), Auburn
Located at Fort Hill Cemetery, earthworks originally built by the ancient mound builders. Also later known as Fort Wasco, used as a Cayuga Indian council seat and village site.

Auburn Barracks
(1812 - 1813), Auburn
A state militia log barracks. A marker is on the north side of West Genesee Street.

Camp Auburn
(1860's), Auburn
A Civil War military depot. Marker at Camp Street and Lake Ave..

Great Gully Fort
(unknown - 1779), Springport Township, Cayuga County
An Upper Cayuga Indian palisaded village or "castle" located on the Great Gully between Springport and Ledyard Townships, on the east side of Cayuga Lake. Also known as Goi-o-goven. Destroyed by Patriot forces under General Sullivan in September 1779. State marker located on NY 34B near Number One. Site access by footpath only.

Cayuga Indian Fort (2)
(unknown dates), Venice Township, Cayuga County
A Cayuga Indian fort was once located here.

Moravia Arsenal
(1800 - 1930), Moravia
A stone magazine and state arsenal located at Grove and Aurora Streets. Razed circa 1930. State marker on Side Street.

Cayuga Indian Fort (1)
(pre-contact), Waterburg
A Cayuga Indian palisaded circular earthwork was located around a pond on Spring Brook, west of town on Indian Fort Road.

Cornell Army Ground School
(1917 - 1919), Ithaca
An Army Ground School on the Cornell University campus.

John Speed's Blockhouse
(1806), Speedsville
A settlers' blockhouse.

Fort Reid
(1779), Elmira
A temporary Patriot fort during the Sullivan Expedition, located at the Chemung (Tioga) River and Newtown Creek. Also spelled Reed. The fort was dismantled after the Battle of Newtown (August 1779).

Elmira Civil War Camps
(1861 - 1865), Elmira
Arnot Barracks was located just north of town. Ten barracks, a guardhouse, Officers' quarters, and a mess hall composed the camp. Monument erected in 1984.
Robinson Barracks (aka Camp Robinson) was located less than two miles southwest of town. Twenty barracks, two messhalls, two guardhouses, and an Officers' quarters composed the 400-by-360 yard camp.
Camp Rathburn was located on the western side of town. Twenty barracks, two messhalls, two guardhouses, and an Officers' quarters composed the 500-by 300 yard camp.
Post Barracks was located west of town. Twenty barracks, one messhall, two guardhouses, and an Officers' quarters composed the 400-by 200 yard camp.
Camp Chemung (1864 - 1865) was a 30-acre compound located on the Chemung River at Foster's Pond, about one and one-quarter mile west of town. It housed over 9000 Confederate POWs in 35 barracks, with over 12,000 POWs total during its existence. Several sources claim that conditions here, and the death rate (3000 deaths), were worse than those at Camp Sumter in Andersonville, GA. At least three extant houses on West Water Street may have originally been Officers' Quarters. Monument erected in 1985.

(Newtown Battlefield State Park)
(1779), East Elmira
An Indian settlement and fortified British base camp, destroyed by the Patriots (Sullivan Expedition) in August 1779. State markers located on NY 367 south of Lowman, and at NY 367 and NY 17.

Otsiningo Castle
(unknown - 1779), near Hinman's Corners
A palisaded Indian fort and village, or "castle", located near the mouth of Castle Creek at the Chenango River. Destroyed by the Patriots under General Sullivan in August 1779. State marker located at junction of US 11 and NY 12.

Fort Oghwaga
(1757 - 1778), Ouaquaga
A British-built fort at the western terminus of the portage from the Delaware River to the Susquehanna River. Also spelled Oquaga. This was Joseph Brant's main base of operations against the Patriots and settlers during the American Revolution. Destroyed by Patriot forces in October 1778.

Oneida Castle (3)
(unknown - 1790 ?), Polkville
A palisaded Oneida Indian village was located here before or until 1790.

Unadilla Castle
(1272 ? - 1740's ?), South Unadilla
An Iroquois/Oneida Indian palisaded and ditched village on the south side of the Susquehanna River east of Sidney. Reported in 1722 to have been in existence for 450 years. Probably still existed until the early French and Indian War period.

Northeastern NY - page 1 | Mohawk River Valley - page 2 | Hudson River Valley - page 3
Catskill Region - page 4 | New York City I - page 5 | New York City II - page 6
New York City III - page 7 | Long Island - page 8 | Northwestern New York - page 10

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